Kurukshetra: Project to provide free transport for schoolchildren hits roadblock : The Tribune India

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Kurukshetra: Project to provide free transport for schoolchildren hits roadblock

Higher charges, non-fulfillment of norms by pvt operators to blame

Kurukshetra: Project to provide free transport for schoolchildren hits roadblock

Photo for representation. File photo



Tribune News Service

Nitish Sharma

Kurukshetra, April 15

The ambitious project of the Education Department to provide free transport facility to the government schoolchildren, who cover more than 1 kilometre to reach their respective schools, has hit a roadblock.

According to the Education Department officials, higher transportation charges being sought by private transporters and hiring of vehicles have been major issues as a majority of the vehicles don’t fulfil the conditions of the Education Department.

Transporters’ demand too high

We tried our level best, but a majority of the private vehicles don’t fulfill the norms following which we didn’t hire them. In addition to this, the private transporters demanded Rs 2,500 per student per month which was quite high. —Hardeep Kaur, BEO, Ladwa

The department had introduced the free transport facility in previous session under the Vidyarthi Parivahan Suraksha Yojana as a pilot project and one block from each district was selected. Students from Class I to XII were to get the facility under the project. In Kurukshetra, Ladwa block was selected and over 5,000 students were found eligible to avail facility under the scheme.

The policy aims to provide a smooth transport facility to students, bring down the dropout rate, and provide equal opportunities to ‘divyang’ students. An official said, “Haryana Roadways buses were to be preferred on those routes where the number of students is 20 or above. Letters were sent to the department by the school principals in this regard, but they didn’t get the required response from the Roadways. On other routes, where the number of students is below 20, local private transporters were to be identified, but a majority of the transporters, drivers and vehicles don’t fulfil the norms.”

District Education Officer Rohtash Verma said, “The department is taking all precautions as we don’t want to take any chances because it is directly linked to the safety of schoolchildren. We have written to the Transport Department and the Directorate of School Education in this regard. A meeting will be held by the directorate tomorrow and we are hopeful the students will get the facility soon.”

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